The Dart: Daughter cools off with father

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 15, 2011

Eric Shelton | The Natchez Democrat — Catherine Cooper, 57, and Israel Cage, 81, “beat the heat” outside of Cage’s Martin’s Lane home in Vidalia Saturday. Cooper, who lives in Texas, has been visiting her father for the past month.

VIDALIA — It might be hard to imagine that someone would consider a Louisiana summer “cool,” but if you’d been in 42 straight days of 100-degree heat, Louisiana humidity would be a welcomed relief, Catherine Cooper said.

Cooper was visiting her father, 81-year-old Israel Cage in Vidalia Saturday when The Dart landed on Cage’s Martin’s Lane house. Cooper has been in town for the past month.

“I grew up in Vidalia, but I live in Arlington, Texas,” she said.

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After her three children, who are adults now — ages 36, 31 and 25 — moved to Arlington after the first one moved there in November 1994, Cooper said, she followed them.

“My son called the other day and said it got up to 124 degrees there,” she said. “It’s a temperature relief (to come here).

“Although it’s hot here, it’s not as hot here as it is there.”

During her month-long visit, Cooper said, she got to have her birthday party, complete with cake and balloons.

She turned 57 July 19.

“I get to come (visit) once every two or three months,” she said. “I mainly get to stay this long.”

And Cage, who has two teenage grandsons who live with him, said he loves for her to come visit.

One of the main things they like to do together is watch classic TV shows, like “Good Times,” “Sanford and Son” and “Bonanza.”

But Cooper said she likes to watch a lot of television wherever she goes, including places like Lake Charles, La., and Orange, Texas, where some of her friends from her college days at Grambling State University live.

“We really don’t do anything but sit and watch television,” she said. “We do a lot of that.”

Part of the reason for that, she said, is that the places she mentioned are small towns. But no matter what she’s doing with her college friends, Cooper said, they always have fun.

She’ll be leaving Vidalia today to go back to Texas, and while she enjoys her life in Arlington, Cooper said Vidalia will always have a special place in her heart.

“There’s no place like home,” she said.